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Showing posts from April, 2010

Carly Fiorina just lost the Latino vote in the California Senate race

Continuing the run of stupid statements made by GOP representatives, we have Carly Fiorina. (As a note before this blogger continues, it's important to get out of the way that Carly Fiorina's successful battle against Breast Cancer is an inspiration to others suffering from this awful problem. I wish Fiorina continued success in that area, but not in politics.) In a grilling of an interview by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's The Situation Room, Carly Florina, running against U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in an election battle for Boxer's California seat in The Senate, said that she understood and supports Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law. NNow the catch is Carly didn't say "I support and understand" in one sentence, she danced around the admission but then after Blitzer pressed her finally said "I understand why Arizona" passed the law and said it was because of "fear and frustration." Carly agreed with Wolf's question t

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Oakland, Alameda, Coliseum

Yesterday, this blogger filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the City of Oakland and to the following offices: The Oakland City Attorney, the City of Oakland Office of Economic Development, The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, The County of Alameda County Administrator's Office, and The City of Oakland's City Administrator's Office. The email with letter attached stated: Pursuant to the state open records act, I request access to and copies of all emails, written letters and correspondence, and studies of any kind regarding the budget and operation and management of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and future development plans for baseball, football, and basketball stadiums in Oakland and over the time period from today back to 1/1/2008. I ask that the agencies wave fees for copies of studies and emails (which can be printed out from a computer) and to avoid charging greater than the the cost to make a black and white copy of a document.

Chevron and Richmond need to kiss, make up, and think

Chevron's part of Richmond in that it's the city's largest employer. Richmond needs Chevron to provide not just jobs but help for the many non-profit community service programs that Chevron's in position to help with. Chevron lost a court battle regarding its environmental impact report. What Chevron must do and reportedly will do is comply with the courts request to the letter. Chevron should also stop making noises that it will leave Richmond in the city's time of need. What certain Richmond elected officials and so-called activists need to do is stop with the emotional saber-rattling that reads like a Fox News Cable program but from the left, and start with smart deal-making that gets to a win-win for both the City of Richmond and Chevron. That has not happened under the current political leadership in Richmond. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, while being a very nice person, is more of an activist than a deal-maker. The good Mayor does not seem interested in

Oakland bar application for Golden Bear / Dapper on Grand is problem

The location at 389 Grand Avenue of what was once my favorite Oakland, California hang, The Golden Bear, has been closed for what seems to be about a year now. It was most recently called "Dapper" which was an odd name for a bar to this blogger. It was a nice place that seemed to cater to one type of young, black, Hip Hop-oriented audience. Dapper had a weird vibe: if you weren't exactly and narrowly from that group, you could feel uncomfortable. It's almost like how Cafe Van Kleef in downtown Oakland has changed. It seems to fit a young, white grunge artist crowd and if you're not part of that group, it can feel weird. But, I must confess to some interestingly fun one-night stands out of Cafe Van Kleef. Being bald is fun, but I digress. Someone has filed an application to reopen Dapper bar and some residents in Oakland's Adams Point neighborhood are upset about it. One person just didn't see the reason for a bar there. I disagree. Bars i

Arizona illegal immigration law invites psychotic behavior

Governor Brewer's creating a psychotic environment That the Arizona illegal immigration law is psychotic is without argument. The law, approved by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, calls for the identification, prosecution, and deportation of those presumed guilty of illegal immigration.  This is where the environment that invites psychotic behavior is created and why the law itself is psychotic. First, we must understand the definition of the word "psychotic." To be psychotic is to have a "loss of contact with reality, usually including false ideas about what is taking place or who one is (delusions) and seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)" according to a definition at Google Health . What's interesting and directly apply to the Arizona illegal immigration law and its drafters and implementers are the symptoms of psychotic behavior: Abnormal displays of emotion Confusion Depression and sometimes suicidal thoughts Disorg

AC Transit Bus Rapid Transit: Oakland should see New York and Seattle

New York, NY - On Tuesday night, the Oakland, California City Council passed a resolution to study configurations for, but not build, an AC Transit Bus Rapid Transit system through Oakland's spine from Telegraph Avenue to along International Blvd. Even though the resolution was supported by the Oakland City Council, it was not without a fire-breathing argument from legendary Oakland City Councilmember Larry Reid. Reid and his constituents feared that a dedicated bus transit lane set would turn International into a kind of "freeway" that divided East Oakland. Reid said that people from North Oakland would not travel down to East Oakland to spend money anyway. I watched the City Council hearing from a distance back east and with sadness because it looked like a terrible racial issue, with older African Americans arguing that their neighborhood was essentially being invaded and destroyed by AC Transit. This blogger completely understands Larry Reid's fears, but

Jahvid Best Detroit Lions 1st NFL Draft pick interview (video)

This NFL Draft installment (thanks to the Inn at Irving Place, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World brand) comes from New York, Radio City Music Hall - Former Cal-Berkeley and now Detroit Lions 2010 NFL Draft 1st round pick Running Back Jahvid Best sat down with the media for the first time after he was selected by the Lions as the 30th pick in the first round. Jahvid Best seemed relieved to have gotten over with the whole thing. Plus, note Cal Alums that Best was wearing a RED TIE! More on that below, because I got after him about it. Here's the transcript of the interview, with some corrections to match the video above that the FastScripts people missed: JAHVID BEST: I feel great. This is a dream I've had since I was a little kid growing up just to play in the NFL. So this moment here, just experiencing it with my family and my friends and just getting selected is just amazing. Q. What about (Cal Defensive Tackle) Tyson (Alualu) going ahead of you?

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums breaks tie; money for campaigns and IRV

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums made a rare visit to the Oakland City Council tonight, Tuesday, and for the purpose of breaking a tie vote on an alternative created by Councilmember Jean Quan to a resolution that if passed would have taken money from the Oakland public campaign financing program and put it into a plan for educating voters on the new Instant Run-Off Voting system. Quan's alternative split money $100,000 for campaigns, and $100,000 for IRV education. The current City of Oakland program provides just over $200,000 for public campaign financing. In other words, the city helps you by providing matching funds. The Mayor stepped forward after a lively but brutally nasty two-minute statement by Oakland's number one gadfly Sanjiv Handa. Sanjiv accused the City of Oakland and its City Council of being "greedy" because incumbent councilmembers running for reelection didn't want to have competition. While this space agrees with Sanjiv in principle, Handa&

Oakland uptown beating shows young black male problem

The terrible death of 59-year-old Tiansheng Yu one again sheds light on a problem that has plagued Oakland for some time, yet many don't want to talk openly about it. This space has, and will continue to do so. The City of Oakland has a problem with young black men who just walk around picking people who they think are welcome targets for violence. I blogged about this problem many times. In the case of the " mugging over at Wayne Avenue in 2007 ,"a man who lived on the 300 block of Wayne Avenue in Adams Point was mugged at gunpoint. Someone in the area two black men do the crime in what was described as an "underlit driveway." In 2006, a young woman walked around China Hill, Haddon Hill, and Grand Lake posting a letter called Muggings on Athol . The letter, as I wrote then in Oakland Focus , stated a painful fact: that whites are the targets of assault and theft crimes committed by African Americans in the area. She wrote: We are faced with two d

Rebecca Kaplan: why she's running for Mayor of Oakland - Susan Mernit

Susan Mernit, Oakland Local Founder and Executive Editor, was kind enough to post her interview with Oakland's At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan at and at, and here at Oakland Focus. The Rebecca Kaplan interview's a to-the-point discussion of her reasons behind her decision to run. (A bit of disclosure: Rebecca Kaplan's communications director is a blogger and editor at Oakland Local.) Before the text is presented, this blogger has to make one observation: Councilmember Kaplan said she's thought "for months" about running for Mayor. Given that she's barely two years into her time as Councilmember, it seems safe to say Kaplan was not happy being Oakland's At Large elected official and wanted to be Mayor of Oakland as far back as after the first year of her term. But that's this blogger's observation: I yield the floor to Susan Mernit: When Rebecca Kaplan announced last week she had formed a committee to ex

Oakland Mayor's Race has ten candidates so far

See: city of oakland, mayor of oakland, ron dellums, jean quan, don macLeay, jean quan, greg harland, maya dillard smith, terrance candell The City of Oakland, California Mayor's race is more crowded than you think. It's not just Don Perata, Don MacLeay, Oakland District 4 Councilmember Jean Quan, and Rebecca Kaplan. The Oakland Mayor's Race has ten candidates, nine of them fully known and the last one still largely "under the radar." The full list of Oakland Mayor's Race candidates consists of incumbent Ron Dellums, Don Perata, Don MacLeay, Jean Quan, Greg Harland, Maya Dillard Smith, Terrance Candell, and an tenth person who's still not ready for prime time, but will be. Ten choices for Mayor of Oakland, California. This blogger just got off the phone with Greg Hatland, who's an Oaklander who graduated from Oakland High School in 1964 and lives close to California Attorney General Jerry Brown in the Oakland Hills. Hartland, who's we

Greg Harland, Maya Dillard Smith, Terrance Candell for Mayor of Oakland

The City of Oakland, California Mayor's race is more crowded than you think. It's not just Don Perata, Don MacLeay, Oakland District 4 Councilmember Jean Quan, and Rebecca Kaplan. The Oakland Mayor's Race has ten candidates, nine of them fully known and the last one still largely "under the radar." The full list of Oakland Mayor's Race candidates consists of incumbent Ron Dellums, Don Perata, Don MacLeay, Jean Quan, Greg Harland, Maya Dillard Smith, Terrance Candell, and an tenth person who's still not ready for prime time, but will be. Ten choices for Mayor of Oakland, California. This blogger just got off the phone with Greg Hatland, who's an Oaklander who graduated from Oakland High School in 1964 and lives close to California Attorney General Jerry Brown in the Oakland Hills. Hartland, who's website is at , decided to run for Mayor because Oakland has been a focus of crime for as long as he could remember and wante

The Oakland Salon Beatdown Video trial this month

The Oakland Salon Beatdown Video is back in the news as the trail starts in April. According to ABC News Channel 7 in the Bay Area, the pretrial hearing was held in Alameda County Superior Court, Department 104. Melissa Seals is the owner of the Oakland hair salon where she was the focus of a brutal beatdown by not one, but six women in the spring of 2009. The women entered the salon and two started the attack while one made a video of it. They then stole her merchandise and raised the blinds so people walking by could see what they were doing, according to The Huffington Post . Here's the ABC News video (Warning: it's graphic): The ABC video reports that in 2010, 36-year-old Melissa Seals is suffering from Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder. One of the attackers is named Kavina Bryant, who attended the hearing. Bryant is the woman in the green sweat pants and blue halter top who does much of the beating of Seals. Another woman, who Melissa Seals identifies as "

Jerry Brown meets Richard Aguirre for California Governor, sort of

Richard Aguirre is an until now largely unknown Democratic candidate for Governor of California taking on California Attorney General Jerry Brown. In the video above, posted today April 17th, Aquirre walks in with the perfect activist-running-for-something attire of jeans, t-shirt, and pony tail, and expects to be taken seriously. Richard v. Jerry at the convention The result, even if that's his brand, is he's in a damaging video he posted on YouTube which shows him not being taken seriously. Richard Aguirre first challenges Jerry Brown to a debate in his speech, then allows himself to be shown yelling at Brown from the back of the ballroom at the California Democratic Convention. After that, much of Richard Aguirre's camera time is spent on a not so merry chase of Brown around the convention, yelling for him to debate like a Chihuahua might bark at a Doberman Pincher. Geez. Finally Richard Aguirre gets to within reach of Brown, who keeps going without st

W Hotel San Francisco gets LEED award, has American Idol Kris Allen

This space has been constant in reporting buildings that get LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) awards from the U.S. Green Building Council and today's no exception. The popular luxury W Hotel San Francisco, next to Moscone Convention Center, earned a LEED award and celebrated in W Hotel style and fashion, by hosting American Idol Season 8 winner Kris Allen at a ribbon-cutting event on Wednesday at the hotel at a private, invitation-only ceremony. The timing is perfect because Kris Allen just scored his own first:  Allen signed a publishing deal with Universal Music. A LEED award is given to the builders of structures that have efficient, energy-saving HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems that use natural light effectively.  The W Hotel San Francisco is one of a handful of buildings in America, and even fewer hotels, to earn a LEEDS designation. Congratulations.

Waste Management v. Recology in SF a battle with national implications

Waste Management is angry Waste Management v. Recology for the right to dump San Francisco waste is a battle with national implications. Why? It essentially pits one giant garbage firm, Waste Management, against it's much smaller competitor Recology and may pave the way for other local firms to have more success in competing against national organizations in the waste business. Waste Management is 43,400 employees in size; Recology, formerly NorCal Waste Systems, has 2,100. This blogger normally doesn't pay much attention to local trash, preferring the national celebrity brand, but a political battle between two established companies, and the fact that a lot of people from various sides have talked about it without any provocation, caused this space to wade into an argument such that regardless of what is stated, and how reasonable it may be, the other side - or some other side - is bound to be pissed off. But the reason for the attention from this space was a Marc

IRS tax day freebies 2010 at Starbucks, Cinnabon; help the homeless

Today is April 15th, IRS Tax Day. That day where people get their last files together to make a list of fiscal expenditures and get their tax report in to the government before midnight. While today may be a day of dread, fear not, for it's also a time of IRS tax day freebies 2010. Now the trouble is while this is a national trend, not enough retailers or eateries are actually sending out press releases announcing a marketing effort. If this blogger were in the restaurant business, everyone would get a free drink if they purchased a meal and could prove they just filed their taxes. Now there is one company that seems to get "IRS tax day freebies 2010:" Starbucks. If you bring in a reusable mug on April 15th, or today, you get a free brewed coffee according to their website . Cinnabon, who makes those great, big cinnamon rolls with the thick frosting on top, is also part of IRS tax day freebies 2010. Between 6 PM and 8 PM at Cinnabon, you can get two free cupc

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy): How exactly does it work?

In a previous article called 15 common cognitive distortions- how our thoughts influence our mental health , I outlined a list of common cognitive distortions. In review, cognitive distortions are irrational thoughts that usually reinforce negative thinking and emotions and often serve to keep us from positive change. With effort and practice, you can reduce or change your irrational thinking style by practicing the exercises below. This article aims to introduce what a cognitive behavioral therapist might cover with you in therapy as way to help you reach your therapy goals. Identify your style of cognitive distortion(s) . Begin by creating a list of your automatic thoughts and examine them for similarities with a list of cognitive distortions, then outline them in a Thought Record . An examination of our cognitive distortions allows us to see which distortions we tend to use most often. Examine the evidence. A thorough examination of an experience or situation allows us to identif

Gary Meyer of SF's Balboa Theater on Playland and Grateful Dead shows

Gary Meyer, who's a long time friend of this blogger, is a busy man. He's co-director of The Telluride Film Festival and the owner and operator of The Balboa Theater in San Francisco. Gary and I met for lunch at Jupiter in Berkeley and talked about the movie industry, but for this blog, we made the video about two shows at The Balboa: Playland and The Grateful Dead. (And for those of you who wonder, we split the lunch tab, and the food, too. I recommend a pizza-salad combination.) The Balboa Theater is Gary's love and occupation. Located at 3630 Balboa Street in San Francisco, Meyer took it over about six years ago; now the Balboa Theater not only plays first run movies like Iron Man 2 on May 7th, but has a lot of special events, the one's Gary's got coming up are a movie called Remembering Playland At The Beach on April 23rd, and The Greatful Dead: Crimson, White, and Indigo on Monday, April 19th. On Playland , Gary says, "Everyone was going c

Children's Hospital Oakland video on same day surgery service

In the wake of the news about Children's Hospital Oakland's fiscal problems , this video from their YouTube channel explains their "same-day surgery and diagnostic imaging" done at their Children's Specialty Center Outpatient Surgery Center in Walnut Creek. As the video explains, the facility is for "healthy kids" who need ear tubes and plastic surgery (no, not like Nip / Tuck). As reported last week Children's Hospital is undergoing what could be called a fiscal makeover. In an email Children's Hospital CEO Bertram Lubin said: We hope to restructure our medical center so that our losses this year are $15 million less that last year (which was $25 million) and that we can make a financial turnaround in three years. Children's Hospital's problems grew from California and America's high unemployment rate, rising medical costs and less than adequate Medi-Cal reimbursement levels. Children's Hospital has lost $80 millio

Codependency: Why do people stay in unhealthy relationships?

Have you ever wondered in frustration why someone you respect or admire decided to “stay” with a spouse or partner who has committed repeated acts of betrayal? Or do you tend to always end up dating people who come from alcoholic or dysfunctional families? Or maybe you know someone whose job consumes all of their time and energy, leaving essentially no time for self-care or meaningful relationships. This article aims to explain why some of us struggle to separate from unhealthy people or work settings that consume our energy at the expense of our own mental and physical well-being. Codependency became a widely used term in the 1970’s to describe family dynamics when one person is an alcoholic. Since then, mental health professionals have come to describe codependency as a learned behavior that often originates during childhood in dysfunctional families. Common causes of family dysfunction are chronic parental conflict or divorce, alcoholism or addiction of any kind, physical, emotional

2010 Camaro gets Barris makeover for Saturday event with Jay Leno

The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, the new version of the classic American muscle car from GM and Chevy, gets George Barris makeover for a Saturday event. On April 10th, Community Chevrolet , located at 200 West Olive Avenue in Burbank, California has the first, the # 1 Barris Kustom 2010 Chevrolet Camaro "Spirit" car, and it's hot. If you're wondering who George Barris is, you haven't lived. Barris created many of the legendary television cars like the 1966 Batman TV Batmobile, The Munster Koach from The Musters , the Beverly Hillbillie truck, and Knightrider KITT car, to name some of Barris creations. But this Barris Kustom "Sprit" Camaro is not for TV, it's for real (Barris likes to use the word "Custom" with a "K" so it's "Kustom"). Barris said: Today so many kustom vehicles have entirely too much work done on them. I believe we have succeeded in developing a kustom vehicle with just the right amount of kustom

San Francisco Neo-Nazi Girl upsets Marina District

Related searches: neo-nazi, san francisco nazi, marina district, sf marina district, chestnut and pierce, sf nazi party Why does it seem like there's a rise in the number of white people who claim to be Nazi, or more accurately Neo-Nazi and young people regardless of color who don't know how awful Nazi symbols are or why? The most famous example of the latter was the Taylor Swift Swastika photo scandal where Taylor Swift's representative claimed Taylor Swift did not know that A.J. English's t-shirt (English is the man who took the photo with Swift) had a Swastika symbol on it, and English himself said that people at the party just painted it that way! Then there was the more recent photo of Jesse James wearing a Nazi Waffen SS hat, and giving the "Heil Hitler" salute. And of course, there was his alleged first mistress Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, who posed in a Nazi bikini and worked as a model for the "Angry White Boy" clothing

AC Transit Bus Rapid Transit - Oakland and San Leandro should approve it

Related searches: Bus Rapid Transit, City of Oakland, City of San Leandro, AC Transit, BRT, Oakland transit, City of Berkeley transit Bus Rapid Transit in St. Louis AC Transit needs our help. Yes, this blogger has been critical of the AC Transit Bus Fight, but maintaining service for those who can't afford private transit is critical. For those of you who have followed the issue, AC Transit has been working with San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley in developing a rapid bus system that will significantly improve transit operations from Berkeley to San Leandro. The new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is particularly important to the Oakland area as it is one of the densest urban population centers in the country and most definitely the densest along the proposed dedicated lane for rapid bus service. That is why the upcoming planning and approval meeting on April 19 is so important to the future of transportation in San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley.  BRT is an idea who's t
If you’ve ever felt annoyed, amused, baffled, or disturbed by the various ways people use social networking sites such as Facebook, this article is for you. “Can you believe she posted that status update/picture?” “Why would he write that on my wall, where everyone can see it?” “Why do people do that on Facebook, with no concern for how awkward or irritating it is for other people to see?” “I can’t take it anymore. I’m unfriending this person!” These are actual statements I’ve heard from people, in frustration towards others’ differences in personal boundaries on social networking sites such as Facebook. Quite often we see stark contrasts in the social judgment of our friends, family members, co-workers and acquaintances as they reveal themselves in various ways on Facebook. If we look closely, we can begin to understand these differences in social judgment (as well as our responses to them) as a reflection of our psychological functioning. The following list serves to capture